MSc Psychology

Are you a psychology graduate who wants to develop your knowledge even further or is particularly interested in a career in psychology? Completing the University of Bolton's MSc Psychology will support you to progress into more advanced study or graduate-level roles in professional areas of psychology that require doctoral-level study.


Key information



Mode of Study:



18 months


University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

The University of Bolton was one of the first to establish a degree course in the subject of psychology, and our department has a well-respected, vibrant learning and research culture. Our MSc Psychology offers you the opportunity to build on the knowledge and understanding you gained during your undergraduate studies, developing your intellectual and thinking skills to a very high standard and enhancing your independent research abilities.

Our highly skilled and experienced staff will focus on maximising your potential. We'll guide and encourage you to develop an advanced critical appreciation of contemporary methods, theories and issues in psychology, highlighting the links between your research and clinical practice. You'll apply your research and analysis skills to a substantial piece of independent research, demonstrating your understanding of relevant ethical issues in context.

The course is also designed to enhance your psychological practice, opening employment and career progression opportunities in a diverse range of careers, including psychology and therapy, the helping or health professions, social work, education, private practice, human resources and retail management.

  • You'll have the opportunity to develop and master a high level of complex specialist knowledge and skills in psychology. You'll also have the chance to employ these skills to conduct research or advanced technical and professional activity.
  • Our psychology department operates an effective academic personal tuition system providing encouragement and support to students at all levels to ensure they achieve their highest potential. Graduates are welcome to attend the research seminar programme and become active postgraduates within the University.
  • Tutors may also introduce techniques which they view as especially suitable in aiding learning in their specialist area. Areas of study are regularly updated to reflect the research activity within the department. The department employs a clinical psychologist and a forensic psychologist, offering you the opportunity to work with practising psychologists and academics.
  • Your working environment will include an observation laboratory that contains two ceiling-mounted video cameras and boundary microphones, controlled by video editing hardware and software that can be used for student dissertation data collection. There is also a Psychophysiology laboratory for work of an experimental nature that contains a Bio-pac system, a Neuroscan and Stim3.
  • A breadth of multimedia e-learning resources is available. All the lecture materials and additional resources for your modules will be available on Moodle, our virtual learning environment.
Key Features
  • Our teaching staff hold postgraduate qualifications in research and have experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals. We prefer to keep teaching groups fairly small to encourage interaction and in-depth discussion of ideas and specialist knowledge. Some academic supervision is one-to-one, ensuring close contact between tutor and student.
  • The degree is very flexible with options for independent study to meet your interests, career development needs or personal circumstances. You can study any module offered independently or study in an area of personal interest, for instance, in a job-related field.
  • Our expert team will encourage you to develop your intellectual and thinking skills to a very high academic standard. This will be reflected in your studies, in particular your dissertation. The course can also support the development of your personal and transferable skills commensurate with postgraduate study, a practitioner doctorate or an academic career.
  • Some of our past students have successfully gained places on clinical and educational psychology programmes or remained at the University to pursue MPhil and PhD research. At the MSc stage, you'll have the option of developing your research as part of a research team within our department.
  • This course is suitable for a variety of career development requirements in psychology and therapy, research and teaching, the helping or health professions, social work, education, private practice and management roles where working with people is the prime focus.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Manchester, one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, is less than 20 minutes away by train. Not forgetting, the North West of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline and heritage. This makes Bolton an ideal base from which to explore some of the best cultural and outdoor activities the UK offers.

  • You should have an upper second class (2.1) honours degree (or above) in Psychology, which is accredited by the British Psychology Society for Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
  • If you have a lower second class (2:2) honours degree in Psychology, you may be accepted to the programme following a successful interview. We may also ask you to provide a portfolio of your work as part of the application process.
  • We'll also be happy to consider your application if you're a graduate of an alternative but related degree (for instance, nursing or health and social care). We'll require you to attend an interview, and we may ask you to provide a portfolio of your work to help determine your suitability for the course.
  • Relevant work experience can also provide an advantage.
  • We'll consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • This course does not confer Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) – if you're seeking to achieve GBR, please consider applying for our MSc Psychology (Conversion) programme.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

The University of Bolton's MSc Psychology is for psychology graduates who wish to develop their knowledge to an advanced level or are particularly interested in enhancing their skill set in preparation for a career in psychology. By studying this course, you can develop an advanced critical appreciation of contemporary methods, theories and issues in psychology, and build upon and enhance the skills you acquired from your undergraduate studies.

We'll support you as you further develop your skills in research and analysis and apply them to a substantial piece of independent research. By successfully completing our course, you'll develop enhanced academic skills and the ability to formulate arguments supported by relevant evidence. You'll also possess greater problem-solving skills, interpersonal awareness, communication, teamwork, and IT and data handling skills.

What can I do with this qualification?

A postgraduate qualification in psychology can enhance your skills for a diverse range of careers, including human resources, retail management, marketing and professions associated with medicine.

Careers directly related to psychology, such as clinical psychology, educational psychology and occupational psychology, require postgraduate study on accredited higher degrees and professional doctorates.

Psychology graduates can also progress to graduate schemes which are long-term employment contracts, usually with a large corporate company offering advanced training packages.

Alternative career options

Although some psychology graduates become professional psychologists, many others go on work in related fields. Graduates can use this qualification as a stepping-stone into various careers, bearing in mind that some of these roles may require relevant experience and/or postgraduate study. Some possibilities include:

  • Teaching and education
  • Careers guidance
  • Human resources
  • Probation services
  • Prison services
  • Social work
  • Counselling
  • Family mediation and support
  • Nursing
  • Police
  • Media and advertising
  • Communications
  • Sport and recreation
  • Brand consultancy
  • Advertising
  • Child protection
  • Sales
  • Youth work

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £5,664 for the academic year 2024/25.

Overseas students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Overseas fee of £15,950 for the academic year 2024/25.

Useful information

Please note the total course fee for a Home student starting this course in 2023/24 will be £7,920. As this is an 18-month course, the fees are £5,280 for the first year and £2,640 for the final semester.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information on our Master's Bursaries.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

Thank you for your interest

In order to determine your suitability for this course as an international student and also to confirm you meet any initial eligibility criteria, we need you to answer a few short questions.


Our psychology department's overall teaching and learning strategy is student-centred. We use a blended approach involving face-to-face sessions, sometimes one-to-one, and online learning. We promote active learning through workshops, seminars and tutorials, self-directed and guided study, lectures, IT sessions and video viewing and analysis. The University’s e-learning portal Moodle will support your online learning.

We'll expect you to undertake considerable independent learning, including independent literature searching, reading, completing work for seminars, and preparing for workshops, presentations or group discussions. In addition to the taught components, some modules will have online resources and activities to complete.

Assessment serves several functions with the obvious and primary function being to evaluate your achievement of the stated learning outcomes. However, the assessment also serves to help you organise and develop your learning. Feedback from the assessment can help you develop your skills and understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses. We may require you to complete reports, essays, presentations, literature reviews, reviews of journal articles, write up laboratory tasks, and complete short question and answer tasks (related to statistical analysis), reflective journals and case studies.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Psychological and Social Research: Review, Evaluation and Design
  • Quantitative Inquiry 1
  • Qualitative Inquiry
  • Quantitative Inquiry 2
  • Advanced Social and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Social Neuroscience Techniques
  • Social Neuroscience Laboratory Practical
  • Foundations of Positive Psychology
  • Positive Psychology in Practice
  • Critical Positive Psychology
  • Psychology Dissertation
  • Current Debates in Psychology
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 85%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 15%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Pedro Vital
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903685

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant